The sultry voice behind Bells Bells Bells gives us the skinny on their new album and falling stars.
We love quoting ourselves, so let’s: “Murky and morbid, the Philly five-piece is a slow-burning, ever-churning garage-psych band that would’ve made Edgar Allan Poe proud.” That’s us waxing poetic on the creep-tastic bag of spooky known as Bells Bells Bells upon the release of their album Throw Down Your Anchor a few years back. With their new A Ghost Could Live Here just around the corner, we remain smitten. So we started a few sentences for lead singer Amandah Romick, and asked her fill in the blanks in advance of the B3 gang (we just made that up!) throwing down at the ninth anniversary bash of Sara Sherr’s Sugar Town, which will also serve as Ghost release party. As you read, imagine Romick’s answers delivered in her hauntingly seductive wail!
The main difference between Throw Down Your Anchor and A Ghost Could Live Here is : “Everything is taken to the next level on the new record. We weren’t afraid to write parts that might sound ugly or incongruous. Also, we did both with producer Isaac Betesh, so by the time we got around to recording Ghost he was so familiar with our point of view he was able to capture it as accurately as possible. He was almost the fifth member of our band in the studio.”
The most surreal thing about playing on the 10! Show is : “We actually played the 10! Show twice. The first time the other guest was Teddy Pendergrass. I’m glad I had the chance to meet him. Also, the first time was live. Staring at the black lens of a camera and knowing there are a million (or whatever) people behind it is pretty surreal. It crossed my mind a few times during the performance.”
The one thing I’ll remember most about making A Ghost Could Live Here is : “Long, long nights that progressively got colder. We were recording late summer into the fall. I saw a falling star outside the studio one night. I don’t believe in signs, but it was really cool.”
The best advice I ever got about making music was : “A friend who was a poet told me writing songs can either be a completely narcissistic exercise in emotional purging or the opportunity to connect with other people using a language that everyone understands, but in their own way. She was speaking about poetry but it translates. If you make a song all about yourself it seals it off and it dies, no one else can fit inside. All relevant art has an opening for the viewer or listener to slip inside.”
If I were stranded on a desert island and managed to fashion a record player out of a coconut and a few twigs, the one record I’d have to have with me is : “Either PJ Harvey To Bring You My Love or Leonard Cohen’s Songs of Love and Hate . My bandmates would have very different selections.”
If I ever had a chance to meet Edgar Allan Poe, I’d make sure to tell him : “You should have sex with your wife. It won’t taint her. But wait until she’s eighteen first.”
Sat., Jan. 30, 9pm. $7. Sugar Town 9th Anniversary Bash. With Frisky or Trusty + Party Photographers. Tritone, 1508 South St. 215.545.0475. tritonebar.com
PW's Music Issue 2014